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By Katya Gubarev, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With over 90 percent of the line-up confirmed, Rock in Rio will open the official ticket sales in early May 2011, instead of Jul,y due to the public’s demand. The entry for each day will cost R$190 and half-price will be set at R$95. If the pre-sale of the Rock in Rio card at the end of 2010 is any indication, the tickets will be disappearing rapidly. In just 21 days, more than 100,000 cards had been sold.

Axl Rose of Guns n' Roses
Axl Rose of Guns n' Roses joins the upcoming Rock in Rio line-up, photo provided by Rock in Rio.

One of the things spurring on the fans is the quality of the line-up. Recently, the fans voted to bring Guns N’ Roses to the stage, according to a poll conducted on the official site of the festival with more than 450,000 votes.

The organization complied, announcing the band on October 2nd at the festival’s closing. The band’s last appearance with Rock in Rio was in Lisbon in 2006 when they performed for 250,000 people in the City of Rock.

The band also played in Rio just last year at the Apoteose Stadium, which required a second night because the original date was canceled at the last minute after a huge storm damaged the stage, leading to several injuries.

Fred Mellor, an English musician living in Rio commented, “The likes of Guns N’ Roses, Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be enough to break some of these ‘Sambistas’,” and when asked who else would be great to see, Mellor added, “A return of Green Day would add something special to the line up.”

What will be a debut in the City of Rock in Rio de Janeiro is the Rock Street. Inspired by New Orleans, it will have restaurants, bars and countless events, like concerts devoted to the biggest names in jazz and blues with street musicians, fortune tellers, living statues, jugglers adding to the commotion.

The street will introduce the public to some of the iconic Jazz musicians like the guitarist Victor Biglione, saxophonist Leo Gandelman (who will perform with Serginho Trombone), the group Grunts (with George Israel, Rodrigo Sha and Laudir de Oliveira), Bruce Henri Quartet Fabulous Tab ( with Evandro Mesquita), the singer Taryn Szpilman, and Seeley & Baldor, who are considered the best American duo pianists within the style Boogie-Woogie. 

Olympic Park of Rock
Olympic Park of Rock plan for Jacarepaguá, image provided by Rock in Rio.

Bruce Henry, the artistic director of the Street calls the Rock Street a melting pot of different attractions and artistic events. “The unexpected can happen at any time,” he says.

Already seeing a huge response from the Brazilian audience, Rock in Rio is planning to expand into Latin America. The next host will be chosen from one of three cities in Argentina, Mexico or Columbia. The organization has launched a campaign to promote Rock in Rio in the selected regions and assess the level of interest from the public and potential sponsors.

To hold an event of this magnitude, the cities’ governance will also have to become involved to invest into infrastructure. The fans are included in the selection process, with a new poll on the website asks which country should host the future edition of Rock in Rio.

“So far the response has been very interesting, an intense dispute on the Internet and already some contacts with governments and possible sponsoring brands”, shared Roberta Medina, the vice-president responsible for strategic communication, design and environmental responsibility.

After a ten year absence from it’s city of origin, Rock in Rio will return to Brazil in the Autumn of 2011. From September 23rd to October 2nd, the iconic festival that saw its first edition in 1985 will return to Rio to be hosted in the new Parque Olímpico Cidade do Rock, on the edge of Jacarepaguá Lake in the West Zone of the city.

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